By Julian Pecquet - 06/18/10 07:03 PM EDT
The American Medical Association sharply criticized Congress on Friday for allowing a 21.3 percent Medicare pay cut to go into effect. The Senate agreed on a six-month "doc fix" by unanimous consent today, but too late to prevent the cut.
“Congress is playing Russian roulette with seniors’ health care,” AMA President Cecil B. Wilson said in a statement. “Congress has finally taken its game of brinkmanship too far, as the steep 21 percent cut is now in effect and physicians will be forced to make difficult practice changes to keep their practice doors open.”
“This is no way to run a major health coverage program – already the instability caused by repeated short-term delays is taking its toll,” Wilson added. “About one in five physicians say they have already been forced to limit the number of Medicare patients in their practice. Nearly one-third of primary care physicians have already been forced to take that action. The top two reasons physicians gave for these actions were the ongoing threat of future cuts and the fact that Medicare payment rates were already too low.”